Make Plans to be Heard at APRO’s 2018 Legislative Conference

APRO’s Legislative Conference is the most important event of the year for the rent-to-own industry. It is open to seasoned Washington advocates as well as to conference and industry newcomers. This year’s event will be held February 7-9 in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Court Hotel, located within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol. APRO invites rental dealers and vendors of all sizes to come to Washington to advocate for issues that are critical to a thriving rent-to-own industry.

With more than 60 new senators and representatives inaugurated earlier this year, it is crucial that they are aware of, and understand, the rent-to-own industry and its benefits for the U.S. economy. APRO’s Legislative Conference is the perfect vehicle to make that happen. “We are not actively pushing a bill right now, although we will always be alert for opportunities to define our transaction at the federal level,” says APRO board member and Rent-A-Center vice present and assistant general counsel Matt Grynwald. “There are newly elected members of congress who have no idea what rent-to-own is and if I am your opponent, these are the people I am going to go find and try to influence.” APRO’s Legislative Conference is invaluable to the industry as it provides the platform to speak directly to decision makers in person. “We go there to make sure that when that opponent walks into someone’s office, they have at least heard of rent-to-own and from someone who lives there, works there, employs people there and votes there,” says Grynwald.

It also is important to renew relationships with more seasoned lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill, to let them know that the RTO industry remains vital and that we continue to monitor legislation that might affect the transaction. Without the positive relationships that APRO members have fostered with members of Congress over the years, the rent-to-own industry would not exist today. Many critical attacks would have crippled our ability to do business. Creating and maintaining such relationships has staved off multiple challenges to the RTO industry while also helping members of Congress and their staffs better understand the benefits of the business.

No one can tell the rent-to-own story better than you. You know how to run the business. You know inherently how to talk about it because you live it and the good news is, we’re not asking for anything. The Huffington Post online reports that members of Congress consistently say they much prefer to hear from real people from their home states on how legislation or regulation impact their lives. APRO’s Legislative Conference is a tangible opportunity to be heard. We provide all the information for you to meet with your elected officials and educate you on the full spectrum of issues that are most pressing to rent-to-own today.

The 2018 conference will begin with a briefing breakfast on Thursday, February 8, at the Executive Room located at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill. After the briefing, the group will head to Capitol Hill for scheduled meetings with their members of Congress over the next day and a half. On Thursday evening, Legislative Conference participants are invited to a reception and dinner at The International Spy Museum, a museum solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events. Click here to download a schedule.

Help protect the future of our industry while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow APRO members and a slice of Washington, D.C. To register, contact us at 800/204-2776, ext. 111, or at twendele@rtohq.org. There is no cost for registration, the debriefing breakfast or the networking dinner at The International Spy Museum. Attendees need to make their hotel reservations and travel plans on their own. Click here to reserve your APRO discounted room at the Washington Court Hotel online, or call 800/321-3010. APRO has blocked a set of rooms under the code of “180207APRO” at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill. The deadline for hotel registration is January 8, 2018.